Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
  1. #1

    Default Defendants Should Be Hidden

    Got into a heated debate with a colleague who feels defandants should never be in a courtoom and should have their voices altered as a way to remove bias from jurors. Legally, why SHOULD defendants appear in person?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    18,922

    Default Re: Defandants Should Be Hidden

    Pesky sixth amendment.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    2,796

    Default Re: Defandants Should Be Hidden

    The sixth really doesn't require the defendant to be in the room. It does give them the right to be. While not common trials in absentia do happen.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    16,791

    Default Re: Defandants Should Be Hidden

    The defendant's appearance and demeanor could sway the jury in his favor.

    And his absence could have the jury wondering what he has to hide and why he can't face them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    7,168

    Default Re: Defandants Should Be Hidden

    Quote Quoting Mr.Fix_It
    View Post
    Got into a heated debate with a colleague who feels defandants should never be in a courtoom and should have their voices altered as a way to remove bias from jurors. Legally, why SHOULD defendants appear in person?
    The short answer is that the court commands the defendant to appear for the trial. Failure to appear has its own set of consequences apart from the possibility of conviction on the charges against him/her.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    1,211

    Default Re: Defandants Should Be Hidden

    Sounds like a homework assignment. What do you think the answer is.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Defandants Should Be Hidden

    Quote Quoting pg1067
    View Post
    Sounds like a homework assignment. What do you think the answer is.
    Ha. I've been done with school for YEARS. My friend says the entire legal system should be changed, to REQUIRE a defendant to not be seen nor heard so that bias is minimized. Clearly I believe a defendant should be seen.

    1) right to face accusers
    2) seems like a violation of nayural law to convict someone who cannot answer to the charges
    3) families involved have a 'right' to see the defendant on trial
    4) we have a 'public' legal system. Hiding defendants and changibg their voices seems contrary to transparency.

    My friend seems to believe bias plays a large role in a large # of wrongful convictions. My own studying has sown that to not be the case.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    1,211

    Default Re: Defandants Should Be Hidden

    Quote Quoting Mr.Fix_It
    View Post
    Ha. I've been done with school for YEARS. My friend says the entire legal system should be changed....
    Ok...your friend is entitled to his/her opinion, no matter how dumb it might be.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Defandants Should Be Hidden

    Well does he have a point? Would not seeing the skin color, or way a defendant dresses, help eliminate bias from jurors? During jury selection, how is biased removed? Let me combat him with facts. He believes too many are wrongly convicted due to bias. Any stats to show that isnt the case?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    7,168

    Default Re: Defandants Should Be Hidden

    Quote Quoting Mr.Fix_It
    View Post
    Well does he have a point? Would not seeing the skin color, or way a defendant dresses, help eliminate bias from jurors?
    In some cases it might. Bias based on race is still a problem in some parts of the country, of course. Bias based on how the defendant dresses is something the defendant can pretty easily remedy. His/her lawyer should be advising the defendant on how to dress and act.

    Quote Quoting Mr.Fix_It
    View Post
    During jury selection, how is biased removed?
    The attorneys (and sometimes the judge) question the jurors on a number of things during the voir dire process. If a potential juror shows bias based on race, sex, etc, that juror is bounced from the jury pool for cause. Where possible, courts draw the jury pool from a mix of people, i.e. varying races, both sexes, varying ages, etc. If the jury is composed of a diverse group of people, including those of the same race and sex as the accused, the chances of a wrongful conviction based on bias are greatly reduced. Bear in mind that to convict, the jury verdict must be unanimous.

    Quote Quoting Mr.Fix_It
    View Post
    Let me combat him with facts. He believes too many are wrongly convicted due to bias. Any stats to show that isnt the case?
    In a sense any defendant wrongfully convicted is one too many. However, most wrongful convictions are based on issues other than race, sex, etc., that a juror would see at trial. The problems tend to revolve around things like not giving the defendant full access to potentially exculpatory evidence, defects in the investigation, reliability problems with certain kinds of evidence, or simply that the scientific evidence available at the time was crude compared to what what later advances allow. For example, the discovery of DNA testing has allowed for release of a number of wrongfully convicted defendants because it proves the defendant could not have committed the offense, and that evidence simply wasn't available at the time of the trial.

    A rule that a defendant can never be present at trial runs into a number of problems, not the least of which is that the state has to prove the identity of the perpetrator, and often that is done by a witness pointing out to the jury who it was that committed the crime. If the defendant is not there, then obviously that cannot be done. Or the identification might be from a video of the crime, in which case the jury needs to see if the person they see on the video is the same person charged with the crime. I could give other examples, but I hope you get the point without needing to do that. It can also be important for the jury to see how the defendant reacts to the evidence that is being presented. The defendant also has a right to participate in his own defense, something that he cannot fully do if he is not there at the trial to consult with his attorney.

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Trials: When Can Co-Defendants Be Tried at the Same Trial
    By AppA in forum Criminal Procedure
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-14-2014, 03:47 PM
  2. Civil Procedure Issues: Peremptory on the Defendants
    By scguy in forum Civil Procedure
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-14-2012, 04:05 PM
  3. Sentencing: Sentencing of Elderly Defendants
    By seanakapablo in forum Criminal Procedure
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-15-2009, 11:15 AM
  4. Trials: Co-Defendants Being Tried At The Same Time
    By dogpekrnats in forum Criminal Procedure
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-07-2007, 07:40 AM
  5. Who Do I Name as the Defendants
    By shackmammy in forum Civil Procedure
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-30-2007, 10:55 AM
 
 
Sponsored Links

Legal Help, Information and Resources